Natalie Anne’s post, An Open Letter To Priests, on Catholic Spiritual Healing is spot on. For long, when I mentioned the abuse I suffered as a child, priests responded w/ the equivalent of ‘Get thee to a therapist!’
My experience was similar to Natalie Anne’s. I had been in therapy for many years and it wasn’t enough. I also minored in psychology and counted many therapists among my acquaintances so I knew an enormous amount about the recommended “treatments” for abuse survivors. “Get a boyfriend” was a frequent recommendation. It is only now that I realize what an insane treatment that is. I must mention, I did find two therapists who never made such insane suggestions. One was Catholic and had been a seminarian. Another was a laicized priest. But, though therapy with them was helpful, it didn’t bring healing.
Finally, I found a priest who pointed out to me that abuse causes victims to be “confused” about sex and all sorts of other things. He helped me become clear of mind and clear of heart. That priest and real Christian friends who love me as if I’m a family member have brought me healing far greater than I ever imagined.
One excellent book for abuse survivors is Dawn Eden’s, My Peace I Give You: Healing Sexual Wounds with the Help of the Saints.
Loved As If will also specifically speaks of my failure to find healing in therapy. Therapy can be very useful but I don’t think it’s enough. We’ve been hurt by the people in our lives and must find healing through the people in our lives; through the love Christ provides through His community.